MHC celebrates unveiling of five-year strategic plan

The Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) held a celebration of the release of their 2019-2024 strategic plan, “Patient-Centred Care, Through Quality and Collaboration” at both the Mindemoya and Little Current hospitals on April 25. In photo are MHC officials, employees, hospital partners and strategic planning committee members after the ceremonies held in Mindemoya.

MINDEMOYA—With the theme song ‘Don’t Stop’ by Fleetwood Mac that looks toward the future and the words respect, passion and truth indicating its core values in the forefront, Manitoulin Health Centre (MHC) released its 2019-2024 strategic plan, “Patient-Centred Care, Through Quality and Collaboration” at ceremonies held at the Mindemoya and Little Current hospitals on Thursday of last week. 

Nicole St. Georges, MHC director of human resources, and Tim Vine, MHC VP of corporate support and chief financial officer, welcomed everyone to the celebration and the opening prayer was delivered by Kenn Pitawanakwat, a traditional healer from Noojmowin Teg Health Centre.

Terry Olmstead, MHC board chair said, “when I joined the board in 2015 the staff and management at MHC were a year into their initial living, breathing strategic plan and they were driving hard to achieve the goals they had established. They continued driving hard to improve the quality of care the patients were receiving for the next four years. Their amazing performance was highlighted with last year’s accreditation score in the high 90s. Well done, executive. That score required a great deal of teamwork and a strong commitment from everyone to achieve the goals. It also required every team member to become a leader in order to achieve their own goals along with their team.”
“But that was yesterday and yesterday’s gone,” said Mr. Olmstead, explaining, “strategic planning is a lot like a road map with an action plan along the way telling you how to get to your destination. Reaching the destination requires that each and every team member be on the same page at the same place. It sets priorities, focuses their energy and resources, establishes common goals, agrees with the intended outcomes and assesses their progress toward the achievement of the goals.”
“The MHC team has invested a great deal of energy and time to ensure we have established the right goals in the new plan. This plan, while striving for a quality, “patient first” care experience, also embeds the culture of our First Nation communities on Manitoulin Island within our care practices.”

“The board is also very committed to ensuring that every patient arriving at MHC receives a patient-first care experience,” said Mr. Olmstead. “I would like to thank, on behalf of the board, Lynn Foster and her amazing senior team of Tim Vine, Paula Fields and Nicole St.Georges for their very hard work in pulling this plan together and for involving so many members of the MHC team and our collaborative partners in the establishment of our road map for the next five years. Remember, patients first.”

Angela Becks, chair of the MHC strategic planning committee, said the MHC board of directors approved the 2019-2024 Strategic Plan at its March 2019 board meeting. “I am going to speak to the progress. The MHC strategic planning committee has been at work for 18 months. Thank you to management and fellow members who generously gave time and thoughtful consideration to the aspects of this strategic plan.”

“A number of board members who are members of this strategic planning committee are professionals, fully engaged in their work lives,” said Ms. Becks. “Making time for daytime meeting obligations reflects their commitment to the work they do for MHC. Thank you to the teams of 2017-2018 and 2018-2019. I am feeling grateful to the current Strategic Planning Committee: Barbara Baker, Derek Debassige, Cora Hayden, Jane Hohenadel, Terry McCaffrey, Terry Oldmstead and the MHC Management team members Dr. Stephen Cooper, Lynn Foster, Paula Fields and Tim Vine.”

“MHC’s new strategic plan is not about sudden or radical change,” continued Ms. Becks. “It is about development, which will bring changes in behaviours which will evolve over time. The organizational values reflect MHC’s commitment to the people served, the team and the services and they will shape the choices made, how they are achieved, and how MHC works to serve.”

“Consultation within the organization—staff, physicians, and clinicians and its partners—led to an agreement on three values, those values being respect, passion, truth,” continued Ms. Becks. “Respect: we embrace differences, honour beliefs and respond with kindness and care. Passion: we are driven to go above and beyond in what we do and how we do it. Truth: we are true to ourselves, our responsibilities, and we do the right thing.”

Geraldine Ense-McGregor and Robin Ense of the M’Chigeeng Women’s Hand Drum group performed ‘To All Our Relations.’

The three main strategic directions for MHC are to ground quality in patient experiences, to reflect First Nations culture within its care practices and to unleash the power of leadership in all team members.

MHC listed six strategic goals for its operations: to weave quality into all areas of its operations, improve physical space and flow, reach for a unified organizational culture, make a difference through targeted skills and knowledge transfer, influence and implement health system transformation and strengthen cultural awareness, competence and safety.

Lynn Foster, MHC president and CEO, welcomed everyone and said, “our theme for this celebration focuses on yesterday, today and tomorrow. Let’s look back to yesterday, say, the last five years. “Together with partners, we have much to be proud of. Our humble collaborative beginnings started with the Manitoulin Island Network of Care Providers, the success from which prompted the development of other collaborative efforts such as our collaborative mental health and addictions group, our collaborative palliative care group, our collaborative information technology group and to complete our circle, our collaborative leadership group.”

“Collectively, we have made a difference to patient care on Manitoulin,” said Ms. Foster. “We’ve standardized care practices around wound care and IV therapy, for example. We’ve improved care processes such as electronic referrals between local care providers and, with our physiotherapy partner, we’ve expanded those services right here at home.”

“We have also left a few infrastructure legacies for patient generations to come. The Manitoulin Central Family Health Team was built adjacent to our Mindemoya MHC site. We have renovated the emergency department at the Little Current site to reflect best practices and we’ve added two beautiful palliative suites to support and comfort families and loved ones,” continued Ms. Foster. “Today, we pause in reflection of our contributions to our community and our patients and contemplate what is needed to support future patient care on Manitoulin. What is also important for us today is that we, the MHC team, are renewing our commitment to our values of respect, passion and truth.”

Paula Fields, vice-president of clinical and chief nursing officer, presented a video and new revamped website ( and said, “I am proud to say that MHC and our employees have been a part of my life personally and professionally for most of my life. I, along with other employees, feel an intrinsic connection to the buildings, our colleagues, our communities and, most importantly, to the work that we do here at MHC. It is truly a part of us.”

“This commitment is embedded in all our employees do, whether they are working at the bedside or in the storeroom,” said Ms. Fields. She explained the film is a glimpse of the dedication of our employees, colleagues, volunteer and partners of MHC. Working at MHC is being part of a team, a family and a community. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”

“It seems appropriate with the launch of the strategic plan that we would also refresh our website to align with the new plan,” said Ms. Fields. “The new website provides us with the opportunity to keep our communities well-informed of the services that MHC provides, display our dedication to our strategic plan and showcase the patient-centred approach.”